Biba Restorations

SPIDER SUPER SPORT PROJECT

  Biba Restorations is looking for one (especially) good client.

While not a given, we feel a Series 1 (Round-Tail) Spider would make an excellent base for a SSS semi-recreation project.

All that would be required is time and a highly motivated client with a reasonable amount of disposible income.

 
Spider Super Sport produced by Pinin Farina and presented at the 1959 Geneva Motor show.

 

  Proportions

As one can readily see by comparing the Round-Tail, or if you prefer, Osso di Seppia (cuttlefish bone), to Pinin Farina's 1959 Geneva Motor Shows 'styling exercise', the proportions are simply not the same.

Look at that incredible expanse of sheet metal from the rear of the front fender well to the forward edge of the door. Then taking the door: It is simply a rectangle cut out of this very curvaceous body.

Moving further back one can see the driver and his lucky passenger's derrieres are virtually over the rear axle.

The concave sides were included as an aerodynamic device - especially in side winds. They have always been a controversial styling tip on the entire Series 1 through 4 Spiders. With these dramatic 'creases', especially when combined with the dual headrests (which start at the door's rear edge and extend almost to the end of the trunk) Pinin Farina created an incredibly elegant yet aggressive open car.

  Recreating the proportions

To be honest, it can only be partially done. Understand the '59 styling exercise utilized a 6C 3000 chassis and mechanicals, whereas the Duetto (as it was first christened) shared it's unit body construction and mechanicals with the GTV. Interestingly both car's wheelbase's are virtually identical at 88.5".

Take another look at the production car above right. Both the one-off and the production car are apparently white - which shows off cut-lines to their fullest. Having just painted a Series 3 Spider black, we can assure you the shut-lines / door openings don't necessarily have to be that obvious.

Yes, the rear fender flares must go and be replaced by fender skirts to give the car's sides that important continuous unbroken look.

Wheels: We believe 6.50 x 16" tires* were used on SSS's Boranni wire wheels. Yes, custom wire wheels could be manufactured, but would prefer to use a somewhat updated and more practical rim.

Left is a reproduction of the semi aluminum bodied GTA's 14 x 6 magnesium's wheels - in aluminum. Got that?

Unfortunately available 14" appropriate tires are few and far between.

Money could solve this.


Next column


Headrests

The top and its mechanism must go. The current thinking is the headrests would be in three parts: Interior, trunklid to rear interior, and trunklid. While there would be two vertical seams, there would be no horizontal ones. Possibly a special hood with air intake would also be produced to accommodate a taller Twin Spark engine (see below).

Looking at the Porsche Carrera GT below, a hard top could be designed which would fit snugly over the 'humps' and attach to the windshield. Logic would be to keep the top at home when going to Sunday brunch, top installed when motoring to Pebble Beach or the Hamptons.


All three of the above photos were taken from (5/03) Road & Track magazine. No, not trying to say you should consider the semi-recreation of the SSS because headrests are in vogue. However, the above group does indicate, stylewise, the relevance of the elongated headrest is as relative today as it was well over 40 years ago.
The current 4-cylinder Twin Spark engine might seem rather anemic compared to the original SSS's 270 hp 6-cylinder engine. Yet a reliable 200 hp should be available, even more with a supercharger.

The custom badging could say TS-SSS - which would of course stand for Twin Spark Spider Super Sport - or - STS-SSS (Supercharged Twin Spark Spider Super Sport).

 

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